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6 Good Bike Racks for Hatchback Cars: Reviews 2015

Updated on June 17, 2015
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Which is the Best Bicycle Rack for a Hatchback?

In my student days I owned a few smaller hatchback cars. As a bike rider, I know the frustration of trying to transport my bike in the trunk of such a small vehicle. If only I had owned one of the bicycle racks for hatchback cars available today! No longer are hatchback owners restricted in moving their bikes around, there are many great options to carry a cycle on a small vehicle now.

Hatchback style bicycle racks are specially designed mount systems intended to allow vehicles with a rear hatch door or trunk to carry one, two or even three bicycles at a time, safely and securely. They are fairly easy to install, and some even come pre-assembled and ready to install out of the box. There are different models and varieties, which we'll talk about in a bit.

This article is intended as a review of several of my favorite bicycle racks for hatchback vehicles, taking a close look at their features and hopefully helping you make a decision on what to buy. We'll talk about their features, capabilities and safety paraphernalia, as well as things like ease of installation and price. Let's get started!

Different Kinds of Hatchbacks Bicycle Racks:

What kind of bicycle carriers best fit a hatchback car?

There are several different varieties of bicycle carrier racks and hitches that work well with a hatchback car, depending on the size of the vehicle and your current configurations. I do think that one type in particular is the best option, but I'll get to that in a moment. Here is a list all of the common models you're likely to find these days.

  1. Roof Mounted Bicycle Racks:

    Some hatchbacks are large enough to support crossbar roof racks, along with some station wagons and vans. These are perfect for a roof mounted bicycle rack for cars, and they are a good option if you have them. They install easily, and keep your bike secure with minimal work. Some require you to remove your front wheel, but aside from that they are pretty great provided you can reach up there to get them in place.

  2. Hitch Bicycle Racks for Cars:

    Some bike racks are intended to attach to a hidden hitch underneath the rear of the vehicle. These are common on SUVs, trucks and vans, but they are less often found on smaller cars like a hatchback or a station wagon with a rear hatch. If you happen to have a rear hitch on your hatchback for some reason, this is the way to go. Hitch bike racks for cars are strong, stable and easy to install. However, the hidden hitches themselves are pretty expensive, so if you don't have one already they're not the cheapest option.

  3. Trunk Mounted Bicycle Car Racks:

    This is another popular variety, and the kind I would recommend you use for your vehicle. I prefer this style of cycle carrier because they're easier to assemble and install on your vehicle, and most of them fold up in a snap. Hatchback bike racks are most often this variety, since they readily attach to the rear hatch door and fold flat when not in use. We'll take a look at a few examples of this type in a minute, so read on!

Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Super inexpensive, this simple bicycle rack fits most hatchback cars with relative ease. Strap system keeps everything secure.

 

Allen Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

A popular and simple bicycle rack for hatchbacks

This Allen Trunk Mount rack is probably the most popular item I've listed here, and for good reason. It's really straightforward and has a low price tag. Despite the cost, it's pretty effective and should do everything you need it too, though without many bells and whistles.

It comes pre-assembled, so you just have to take it out of the box and go. The carrying arms are 12 inches long, so they should fit almost any bikes quite nicely. The simple, patented strap system is easy to install and keeps the rack pretty snug.

It's not a fancy hatchback carrier rack, but it gets the job done. It comes with a lifetime warranty against breakage or defect. That said, I wouldn't probably use it if you have heavier bicycles, like a couple of downhill mountain bikes. Invest in a more premium model if that's the case for you.

Saris Bones 805 (2-Bike) Trunk Mount Rack
Saris Bones 805 (2-Bike) Trunk Mount Rack

A gorgeous trunk mounted bicycle rack for hatchback vehicles. Strong, injection molded design, spoiler friendly.

 

Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

A gorgeous and strong bicycle rack for hatchbacks

The Saris Bones is an answer to anyone who wants a bicycle rack but hates how they look. This item is gorgeous and custom designed to take up very little space by utilizing mechanical advantage. It's hard to believe such a small item could carry two bikes so effectively, but it does the job really well.

Beyond that, the injection molded design is among the strongest out there, and it fits beautifully on a hatchback vehicle (or any vehicle for that matter). The all metal construction is non-rusting, and the straps ratchet into place and include anti-sway technology. Due to the arch, it even works if your car sports a rear spoiler. It's a bit more expensive than some of the others listed here, but the benefits outweigh the extra cost and you're sure to get years of good use out of this one.

Hollywood Racks B2 Baja 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
Hollywood Racks B2 Baja 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

A 2 bicycle rack for hatchback cars and many other models too. Anti-sway and micro adjustment features are added bonuses.

 

Hollywood Racks Baja for Two Bikes

A strong and well thought out bike rack for hatchback cars

Hollywood Racks is a great brand, and the B2 Baja 2-bike trunk mounted rack system is absolutely perfect for a hatchback vehicle. This carrier attaches with 6 straps to the rear door, and it's compatible with virtually any vehicle. The padded rests keep your car's paint job protected.

The micro adjustable tabs mean that this installation process is really straightforward. When you're not using it, fold it flat to store. The best thing about this rack is the bike securing system; the anti-sway features are a bonus. Read all those positive reviews: this is a great item.

Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack
Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack

A padded, strong and super easy to assemble premium bicycle rack. This guy accommodates 2 bikes, and works well on trunks and hatchback cars and station wagons.

 

Allen Premium 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Deluxe trunk mounted bicycle rack for hatchbacks & SUVs

The Allen 102S is a great, high quality bike rack for your hatchback. It's designed to rest against the rear door of your car, using gravity and a few straps to stabilize while you drive. The unique design lets it be compatible with both vehicles with conventional trunks and hatchbacks.

The carrying arms are super long, so your 2 bicycles have lots of clearance, which is a great thing with larger or heavier bicycles. It's ready to go out of the box, only requiring some easy, snap together assembly, and it comes with a ton of straps and a patented tightening system to keep both the rack and the bikes secure.

The components are super beefy, backed by a warranty, and padded to protect your bikes and your vehicle's paint job.

Rage Powersports BC-9524-2TP Buzz Rack Skipper
Rage Powersports BC-9524-2TP Buzz Rack Skipper

A strong and durable 'cradle' system that has 6 secure straps. It's adjustable so your licence plate isn't obscured.

 

BuzzRack Skipper Two Bike Trunk Rack for Hatchbacks

A 'cradle' style bicycle rack for hatchback vehicles

The BuzzRack Skipper is a solidly built trunk mounted bike rack for hatchbacks and SUVs that utilizes a 'cradle' style system, where the bike sits on its wheels, not the frame. It's a bit of a departure from the hatchback bicycle racks we've listed so far in the article, but it's every bit as good, if not better.

The 6 point tie down straps make sure it's nice and snug, and the whole rack itself can be adjusted up and down so your licence plate is visible. The wheels fit nicely into the wide tires cradles, and everything that contacts the bike or the vehicle is rubber coated and won't scratch or dent. It's ideal because you don't have to worry about damage to either your car or your bike, and you can actually still use your rear door while the rack is attached, something that some of the others can't boast.

Allen Sports Ultra Compact Folding 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
Allen Sports Ultra Compact Folding 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Single bicycle folding carrier. It's perfect for small spaces, and it makes a great bicycle rack for a hatchback vehicle.

 

Allen Ultra Compact Folding 1-Bike Carrier

A single bike rack for hatchback cars

If you only ever need to carry a single bicycle at one time, this is a mounting system that will probably blow your mind. It's truly tiny and very low profile. It's so small it can fit in a backpack, and it's perfect if you need an on the spot carrier at any time.

This mini bike rack uses padding and straps to keep your cycle nice, snug and secure, and it uses three padded legs to rest safely against the vehicle. When you're done you can just fold it up and store it in your bag. I recommend this to friends who ride around frequently. It's nice if someone offers you a ride, because you can pull it out and attach your bike in minutes.

Hatchback Bicycle Racks: Considerations

Before you pull the trigger on a bike rack for sale, you should consider the various ramifications and whether a model will suit your needs.

First, figure out the maximum number of bikes you'll need to carry, since most racks have limits (typically 2 to 4 bikes, but some can carry larger quantities).

Secondly, figure out the weight of your bikes. Most bicycle racks for hatchback cars have weight restrictions, so you don't want to max it out. In particular mountain bikes can be quite heavy; make sure that your hatchback style bicycle rack can handle a lot of weight if you own them.

Lastly, figure out installation logistics. Will this rack fit inside your car when not in use? Does it fold flat? Will you need to remove the front wheel of your bike when you mount it? If so, will you have room inside your vehicle for the wheel?

Have a hatchback car? What's your bike transportation experience been like?

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    • BikePro profile imageAUTHOR

      Graeme 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yeah, that spoiler really causes problems. You might check out the Saris Bones. You could either position the feet to fit OVER the spoiler (kind of awkwardly high, but reduces any chance of breakage), or you could just risk the straps on the spoiler, since it puts the least weight on the straps. I've seen the Bones safely installed on a Mini Cooper, which has a similar spoiler issue. I've got a link to the Saris 805 in this article. Check out some of the customer photos... some clever workarounds with spoilers on there. I hope that helps!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Nobody seems to be talking about hatchbacks with spoilers at the rear of the roof. The ones with no gap under the spoiler won't allow installation of a trunk type bike rack because the upper straps will put too much pressure on the lip of the spoiler, possibly causing the spoiler to break. I have talked with tech support at several bike rack makers and all say they have nothing to mount on the rear of a car such as my Honda Fit Sport. Does anyone know of a rack which will work? Don't want a roof rack (car is too tall to easily put bikes on roof) and don't want hitch mount, car has no hitch and will never haul a trailer.

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